Department of Sanskrit


The Department of Sanskrit is one of the oldest Departments in the University College. The institution in which B.A. degree course in Sanskrit and Dravidian Languages was started in the year 1884 along with Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics and History was known as H. H. The Maharaja’s College and affiliated to the University of Madras. The course was first housed in the central block of the present main building of the University College. Prof. Vaidyanatha Sastri, a great scholar and pundit of Sanskrit, became the first Professor and Head of the Department. Subsequently, a galaxy of eminent scholars served the Department and won high credit and reputation for themselves and the institution by their single minded devotion to the pursuit of learning and imparting knowledge. Among them, the name of late A. R. Raja Raja Varma, Grammarian and Poet, deserves special mention. He has left a deep impression on the language and culture of the land. He served as the Professor and Head of the Department of Sanskrit and Dravidian Languages from 1910 to 1918 and acted as the Principal from 1915 to 1916 and 1918. Due to the increase in strength of students, the Government of Travancore decided to segregate Departments of Science and Arts of the H. H. the Maharaja’s College and to establish separate colleges for science and arts with effect from the beginning of the academic year 1924 – 25. Degree Courses in Arts subjects including Sanskrit were separated and housed in the H. H. the Maharaja’s College of Arts, Thaicaud. In 1937, the University of Travancore was established for the promotion of Higher Education and thereby the B. A. Degree course in Sanskrit was affiliated to this university. First Chancellor of the University of Travancore, Sree Chitira Thirunnal Balaramavarma (Raja of Travancore) , and Vice Chancellor, Sir C. P. Ramaswami Iyer (Diwan) encouraged Sanskrit education. Consequently, the B. A. Honours Course in Sanskrit was started in the H. H. the Maharaja’s College of Arts in the year 1939. Teachers of language sections including Sanskrit were used to be transferred from one college to the other and this alone contributed to the maintenance of contact between the two colleges. However, the bifurcation brought some predicament and certain dichotomy of the spirit between the disciplines of science and arts. In order to overcome the sticky situation, the two institutions were amalgamated in 1942 and the reunited College was called University College. After the formation of Kerala State in 1956 the University of Travancore became the University of Kerala in 1957 and subsequently, B. A. Honors Degree Course in Sanskrit was converted to M. A. Degree in Sanskrit. .